Welk v. Independence School District

Last modified 2011.09.15


  • Status Closed
  • Type Counsel
  • Court U.S. District Court
  • Issues Government-Supported Religion, Schools and Learning, Teaching Religion in Public Schools

In May 2003, AU and the ACLU challenged a Missouri school district’s failure to take steps to remedy the unconstitutional religious activities of a World History teacher. The teacher had shown students a videotape that presented the stories of the Bible—including the immaculate conception—as historical truth, assigned the reading of a sermon as a homework assignment, advocated the position that evolutionary theory is a hoax that scientists have played on the public, and otherwise engaged in inappropriate advancement of religious teachings.

Immediately after the suit was filed, the District expressed an interest in settling the case. After extensive negotiations, the District agreed to the entry of a court order forbidding future showings of the videotape in question and otherwise prohibiting teachers from endorsing any one religion or religion in general in the classroom.

The settlement was presented to the court on June 23, 2003, and was subsequently approved by the court.

BREAKING NEWS

Americans United & the National Women’s Law Center file suit to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans.

Abortion bans violate the separation of church and state. Americans United and the National Women’s Law Center—the leading experts in religious freedom and gender justice—have joined forces with thirteen clergy from six faith traditions to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans as unconstitutionally imposing one narrow religious doctrine on everyone.


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